USVI U-20 men to play in CONCACAF tournament

The U.S. Virgin Islands’ under-20 men’s national soccer team will be among 19 teams taking part in the CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship qualifying tournament, which held its group play draw Friday in Miami.

The USVI U-20 team was paired in Group D for the qualifiers, scheduled for Nov. 5-14 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The U.S. Virgin Islands’ group play matches will be against Nicaragua on Nov. 6, Guyana on Nov. 8 and the Cayman Islands on Nov. 10. All three matches will be played at Panamerican Stadium in Santo Domingo.

The USVI U-20 men’s team is currently ranked 33rd in CONCACAF’s rankings. Nicaragua leads the group in the rankings at No. 20, followed by Guyana at No. 25 and the Cayman Islands at No. 27.

The other groups as determined by Friday’s draw (with rankings in parentheses) are:

Group A — British Virgin Islands (39th), Curacao (19th), Dominica (26th), Grenada (25th) and Sint Maarten (34th).

Group B — Anguilla (36th), Belize (30th), Dominican Republic (17th), Saint Lucia (23rd) and Saint Martin (32nd).

Group C — Barbados (31st), Bermuda (18th), Montserrat (37th), Puerto Rico (21st) and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (28th).

The top team in each group advances to the main draw in the CONCACAF Men’s U-20 Championship, scheduled for the summer of 2022, joining the 12 teams to qualify out of the group stage involving the top 16 teams in the CONCACAF rankings.

Those 16 teams remaining will play in the elimination rounds, with the top two finishers qualifying for both the FIFA Men’s U-20 World Cup 2023 in Indonesia and the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The semifinal losers also qualify for the FIFA Men’s U-20 World Cup 2023.